Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday: Crazy with the Swords!

I'm learning all about "dodge" and "burn" tools in Photoshop as I pull out and scan the old pictures. I think I've found a perfect one for my profile; we'll have to see how that goes ;).

Yes, that's me, hand on my hip, foil pointing down listening to the bout director, yes, smiling at the camera even! Not that you can see it with that silly ol' mask in the way. UCSC fencing at its, well, I wouldn't call it finest. They'd taken away our NCAA standing by this time. (We just weren't the big money makers.) We were but the UCSC Fencing "Club" by then. I wasn't even officially in the club anymore. I was a coach by then. I was also attending Stanford's Teacher Ed Program.

Fencing did, however, change me for the better. Yeah, I think it made me a little stronger (if not stranger), it taught me a whole bunch about discipline, the importance of teamwork, and how warm and cozy flannel and holey sweatpants are compared to the cold, but matching, warm-up suits the other schools sported. We did have much better things to spend our team money on, like oh, I dunno, sending our teammates off to the National Competitions EVERY year. Okay, fencing also taught me to be proud of my teammates.

You also had to really get over some major body issues. I mean, HELLO, you're wearing white knickers with a white jacket with white knee-high sports socks! Fashion police where are you? Of course you should also be wearing white fencing shoes, right. My coach could always spot me a gym-length away, I was the one with the black vans on.

So, I vividly remember emailing one of my friends in college about my very first fencing tournament. I got my ass whooped by the ladies from the Air Force Academy, ouch ouch, ouch, ouch. His response was something like: "If an Air Force cadet was coming after me with a yard-long piece of steel, I wouldn't just stand there and take it!" It prompted the Women's Foil Team to adopt a version of it: "UCSC Women's Foil Team, We Don't Just Stand There and Take it!" But the coach wouldn't put in on the t-shirts. He didn't even want us to have the school mascot on there (a banana slug). It wasn't aesthetically pleasing, or something. But he did stand there and take it with our team cheer, where we surrounded him, said something nonsensical that lead to "UCSC SLUGS!" and then fell on the floor and, you know, squirmed and stuff like a slug would.

I guess I have college on the brain.

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